Welcome (back) to 1997!

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
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Jethro2007
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Location: Journeying to the center of my mind...

As safe as yesteday is... Humble Pie

Post by Jethro2007 »

Hey all,

1997; I was freshly minted PE, I had been with the same company almost 6 years and thought the future was bright, big, wonderful and waiting for me and my enthusiasms...

In my recent job interview; In an effort to get hired I lowballed myself to what I was paid 10 years ago...and probably still won't get the job because I am not blood relative or married into the organization, in spite of 12 years of experience...

Who knew...it was going to be this tough...to survive at doing what I was trained, educated and thoroughly enjoyed doing???
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woof755
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Post by woof755 »

Hemispheres wrote:I sold 90+% of my stocks in mid-late 1996 and was waiting for a crash. I thought the market was a bubble back then. Unfortunately, I edged back in to stocks in recent years (~30%). Oops.
Omigoodness, there's an honest man in the forum!!!!!!!
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
Xyrus
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Post by Xyrus »

I just wish the market would stop kicking me in the investicles. :(

~X~
dumbmoney
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Post by dumbmoney »

In 1997 I was shorting tech stocks.
I am pleased to report that the invisible forces of destruction have been unmasked, marking a turning point chapter when the fraudulent and speculative winds are cast into the inferno of extinction.
tim1999
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Post by tim1999 »

dumbmoney wrote:In 1997 I was shorting tech stocks.
Wouldn't you have been losing $$ until 2000?
Ichiro
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Post by Ichiro »

Xyrus wrote:I just wish the market would stop kicking me in the investicles. :(

~X~
Well said.



In the last 10 years, we've had Y2K, a presidential election decided by courts, terrorist attacks, wars, recessions, massive fraud....

This too shall pass.

And then it will all happen again, I suppose (except Y2K).
dotnetnoob
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Re: Welcome (back) to 1997!

Post by dotnetnoob »

Ariel wrote:What were you doing in 1997? How did you view the markets in that year? What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
I just finish high school (1996) and my first year in college. I don't know much about investing nor earning enough to invest.

Jack
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Ducks
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Re: Welcome (back) to 1997!

Post by Ducks »

Ariel wrote:What were you doing in 1997? How did you view the markets in that year? What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
I was 24 and had just started contributing to my company's new 401(k) plan. $50 per paycheck. I said to our CFO with mock enthusiasm, "I bet they'll be thrilled to get this huge sum!" He replied in much the same tone, "I'm sure you'll get a plaque!"

Now that $ has been rolled over, and rolled over again, and now sits in VG in VIPSX.
Getting our Ducks in a row since 2008.
dgrdfd
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Location: Boulder, CO

Post by dgrdfd »

I was 12 so I was like in 6th or 7th grade and had other things on my mind.
Hemispheres
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Post by Hemispheres »

woof755 wrote:
Hemispheres wrote:I sold 90+% of my stocks in mid-late 1996 and was waiting for a crash. I thought the market was a bubble back then. Unfortunately, I edged back in to stocks in recent years (~30%). Oops.
Omigoodness, there's an honest man in the forum!!!!!!!
I'm not completely sure that you're being sarcastic but those are the facts. As I posted a long time ago (Sep08 or Oct08!), had I stayed in the market even one more year, given the high risk position I had at the time, right now I would be writing my memoir and worried about how to distribute my financial empire. Wasn't meant to be.

We may be at the lows of this Bear right now. I don't know. I do know that it is truly "different" this time compared to the other Bears I've lived through. Up through Sep08, I figured it was going to be a typical 20-30% decline, peak to trough, putting the SP at around 1200. I bought a little bit there. Then again on Oct 10th at SP 860 and again in early Nov at around 860. I haven't bought anything since.

We successfully passed through the true panic phase back in Sep/Oct. IMHO, there was a real risk of collapse back then. Now we appear to be in the spiral downward phase where the financial sector collapse hurts the economy, which turns around and hurts the financials again, which in turn hurts the economy, rinse, lather, repeat.

Something needs to break that spiral or even the most Rambo buy-and-holders/stay-the-coursers here are going to be crying Uncle in a few months.
hewhomustnotbenamed
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Post by hewhomustnotbenamed »

Hemispheres wrote: Something needs to break that spiral or even the most Rambo buy-and-holders/stay-the-coursers here are going to be crying Uncle in a few months.
Not hardly: I've survived homelessness and eating puppy chow (best nutritional content)for food.
I know others here have been through worse.
So unless it's truly armegeddon, I can roll with the punches. :wink:

btw: asian markets don't look too happy
I might be crazy but, I ain't stupid.
MP173
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Post by MP173 »

My diary says that on this date in 1997 my 5th grader had his best friend spend the night. The next morning I fixed breakfast for the two of them and my 2 year old son (pancakes and sausage). When the 2 older boys left the table before my 2 year old was finished he threw a fit (and pancakes) then chased them thru the house. My wife later took the older boys to see Return of the Jedi while I stayed at home with the little feller.

The 5th grader is now 23 and working, recently graduated from Ball State University. The best friend is working on a PHD at Tulane University. The little fellow is a 6' (and growing) 8th grader. My wife, unfortunately is no longer with us (cancer, 2000).

My most prized possession is the collection of diaries from 1980 which records every day of my life and my family since that year.

I am in my same house, just the two of us and sometimes at night I look at the bookshelf containing those 29 volumes and wonder...where in the heck did the years go?

Time to write about today.

ed
Last edited by MP173 on Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ariel
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Post by Ariel »

hewhomustnotbenamed wrote:
Hemispheres wrote: Something needs to break that spiral or even the most Rambo buy-and-holders/stay-the-coursers here are going to be crying Uncle in a few months.
Not hardly: I've survived homelessness and eating puppy chow (best nutritional content)for food.
I know others here have been through worse.
So unless it's truly armegeddon, I can roll with the punches. :wink:
An impressive comeback, in all seriousness. GL to you, and everyone else on this forum.
Do what you will, the capital is at hazard ... - Justice Samuel Putnam (1830), as quoted by John Bogle (1994)
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Ariel
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Post by Ariel »

MP173 wrote:My diary says that on this date in 1997 my 5th grader had his best friend spend the night. The next morning I fixed breakfast for the two of them and my 2 year old son (pancakes and sausage). When the 2 older boys left the table before my 2 year old was finished he threw a fit (and pancakes) then chased them thru the house. My wife later took the older boys to see Return of the Jedi while I stayed at home with the little feller.

The 5th grader is now 23 and working, recently graduated from Ball State University. The best friend is working on a PHD at Tulane University. The little fellow is a 6' (and growing) 8th grader. My wife, unfortunately is no longer with us (cancer, 2000).

My most prized possession is the collection of diaries from 1980 which records every day of my life and my family since that year.

I am in my same house, just the two of us and sometimes at night I look at the bookshelf containing those 29 volumes and wonder...where in the heck did the years go?

Time to write about today.

ed
Another impressive story of humanity. These posts remind of us what is truly important. Best wishes to you and all Bogleheads.
Do what you will, the capital is at hazard ... - Justice Samuel Putnam (1830), as quoted by John Bogle (1994)
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tetractys
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Post by tetractys »

woof755 wrote:
Hemispheres wrote:I sold 90+% of my stocks in mid-late 1996 and was waiting for a crash. I thought the market was a bubble back then. Unfortunately, I edged back in to stocks in recent years (~30%). Oops.
Omigoodness, there's an honest man in the forum!!!!!!!
Yes, and it reminds me of Issac Newton's investing story. Was that the Mississippi Bubble? :wink:
RESISTANCE IS FRUITFUL
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binarysemaphore
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Post by binarysemaphore »

I was in 10th grade in 1997 back in India and was preparing for state board exams. (10th grade and 12th grade exams are conducted by respective states in India and every school in the state gets the same exam paper on same day).

I didn't know anything about investing or money management. I used to get Rs. 50 as my weekly allowance and I used to spend it on eating junk food & watching movies.

I had a wonderful tour of North India in summer of 1997. Then when results of state board exams showed up, I scored highest grades in Maths & Science in my school. oh boy, I still remember pride on my parent's face.

Those were the days..
amplifier
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Post by amplifier »

was in college full time, working full time, making $6/hr, no health insurance, no girlfriend, certainly no investments. a great year for music though.

I'm definitely happier now despite the economic gloom.
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White Coat Investor
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Post by White Coat Investor »

I made $4K in 1997. Total. The stock market was the last thing on my mind.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
mucomix
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Post by mucomix »

I was 34-35 years old and had just got married for the first and only time. A few years ago I wished I had put more in my retirement. In some way’s I look at this market as a do over. I’m still young enough and with good cash flow to try again.
BBQ and Boulevard Wheat will be the death of me.. But not a bad way to go..
Speedie
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Post by Speedie »

MP173 wrote:My diary says that on this date in 1997 my 5th grader had his best friend spend the night. The next morning I fixed breakfast for the two of them and my 2 year old son (pancakes and sausage). When the 2 older boys left the table before my 2 year old was finished he threw a fit (and pancakes) then chased them thru the house. My wife later took the older boys to see Return of the Jedi while I stayed at home with the little feller.

The 5th grader is now 23 and working, recently graduated from Ball State University. The best friend is working on a PHD at Tulane University. The little fellow is a 6' (and growing) 8th grader. My wife, unfortunately is no longer with us (cancer, 2000).

My most prized possession is the collection of diaries from 1980 which records every day of my life and my family since that year.

I am in my same house, just the two of us and sometimes at night I look at the bookshelf containing those 29 volumes and wonder...where in the heck did the years go?

Time to write about today.

ed
I'm a self-confessed cold, emotionless hardass, but your post brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful perspective on life, and however wrenching some of your entries must be, that's an incredible daily history for you and your heirs to possess.
Trev H
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What I remember..

Post by Trev H »

.
What I remember about 1997 the most is that was the year that my boss asked me to find a way for our customer support department to work from home offices.

2 months later I went home to work and have been ever since then.

Investment wise, we had a crappy company retirement option with American Express (gouging us wtih who knows what in fees).

That is rolled to Vanguard now - good :-)

Trev H
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DRiP Guy
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Post by DRiP Guy »

1997: I bought the brand new just released Porsche Boxster.

No new Porsches this year; went with a Dodge.
Speedie
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Post by Speedie »

A note that I just posted on another thread: much is being made in the headlines about yesterday marking 11 year lows. True. Sort of. It's only true if you consider lows on a closing basis. The low of this bear so far was actually S&P 741.02 which was hit intraday on 21st November 2008. We came within 1.35 points of it yesterday but did not go lower.
Gekko
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Post by Gekko »

Speedie wrote:A note that I just posted on another thread: much is being made in the headlines about yesterday marking 11 year lows. True. Sort of. It's only true if you consider lows on a closing basis. The low of this bear so far was actually S&P 741.02 which was hit intraday on 21st November 2008. We came within 1.35 points of it yesterday but did not go lower.
thanks! that's very comforting!
MP173
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Post by MP173 »

Thanks for the replies.

I went to bed shortly after writing the post regarding 1997 and laid there wondering...how many days have I written about?

So, I got up walked in and calculated the approximate number.

10,480 days and pages, give or take a few.

Sometimes when I get up during the night, my oldest (when home) will be in my office reading the diaries.

I would really recommend this to anyone. It takes about 5 minutes a day and it is a family history.

A few of my quirks:
1. All entries are made in pencil.
2. There is a daily record of exercize (miles ran, laps swam, miles ridden, etc) and a frequent mention of my weight (it has increased)
3. I write every night except Friday (written Saturday...who knows why)
4. I do not record my feelings well. Must be a guy thing. Nor do I record world and US history well. This is about me and my family, but it is very work inclusive.
5. I have used the same book yearly since "At a Glance Standard Diary" one page per day. 8" x 5.5". Staples carries it for about $30 and my boys buy it for Christmas each year.
6. It is an amazing reference for family history, including births, deaths, illnesses, triumphs, setbacks, and other events. But, for the most part, it records the daily routine of a family.
7. I "copywrite" it (all rights reserved) inside the front cover. The diaries have been used in legal proceedings (judge said it was absolutely the best record that could be used and after I stepped down called me the best witness he has every had). The copywrite is simply to protect the use of the diary by unauthorized people. I have no illusions of future grandure, but working somewhat in the intellectual property field, it is a step I take.

ed
Stevewc
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Re: Summer of '69

Post by Stevewc »

Ron wrote:
ResNullius wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:As we are rolling back, let's take a short stop at the Summer of '69.

(
I spent most of that summer going to concerts, getting stoned, and working hard at staying out of Vietnam.
Well - sombody had to do it :roll: ...

- Ron
California is talking about taxing the stuff !!! Can you believe that??? :lol:
Steve
Ladies and Gentiles | Monkeys and Reptiles | I come before ya, to stand behind ya, tell you something I know nothing about !!!
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market timer
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Re: Summer of '69

Post by market timer »

Stevewc wrote:California is talking about taxing the stuff !!! Can you believe that??? :lol:
Legalizing and taxing marijuana would go a long way towards solving California's budget shortfall.
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Sheepdog
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That was a good year

Post by Sheepdog »

1997....the year before I retired. That year, my total return was 24% for everything including a trading account, savings bonds, Vanguard, Oakmark and Fidelity mutual funds. I would love going back to my 1997 total return.
Since the market is back to 1997, let's start a new run again from here.
Jim
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
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woof755
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Post by woof755 »

Hemispheres wrote:
woof755 wrote:
Hemispheres wrote:I sold 90+% of my stocks in mid-late 1996 and was waiting for a crash. I thought the market was a bubble back then. Unfortunately, I edged back in to stocks in recent years (~30%). Oops.
Omigoodness, there's an honest man in the forum!!!!!!!
I'm not completely sure that you're being sarcastic but those are the facts. As I posted a long time ago (Sep08 or Oct08!), had I stayed in the market even one more year, given the high risk position I had at the time, right now I would be writing my memoir and worried about how to distribute my financial empire. Wasn't meant to be.

We may be at the lows of this Bear right now. I don't know. I do know that it is truly "different" this time compared to the other Bears I've lived through. Up through Sep08, I figured it was going to be a typical 20-30% decline, peak to trough, putting the SP at around 1200. I bought a little bit there. Then again on Oct 10th at SP 860 and again in early Nov at around 860. I haven't bought anything since.

We successfully passed through the true panic phase back in Sep/Oct. IMHO, there was a real risk of collapse back then. Now we appear to be in the spiral downward phase where the financial sector collapse hurts the economy, which turns around and hurts the financials again, which in turn hurts the economy, rinse, lather, repeat.

Something needs to break that spiral or even the most Rambo buy-and-holders/stay-the-coursers here are going to be crying Uncle in a few months.
Not sarcastic at all. It's refreshing to read the honest truth in a sea of people who have claimed to have gone to cash in mid-2008. Thank you for your candor, and I apologize if you felt criticized.
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
Hemispheres
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Post by Hemispheres »

woof755 wrote:Not sarcastic at all. It's refreshing to read the honest truth in a sea of people who have claimed to have gone to cash in mid-2008. Thank you for your candor, and I apologize if you felt criticized.
No problem at all. It's difficult to read intent on forum and I shouldn't have assumed the sarcasm angle. I hadn't looked at my Vanguard account for quite a while and when I opened it yesterday, it was "holy s**t", my business is down 20-30%, relatives are asking for financial help, etc. The "Bank of Hemispheres" is closed for the time being!
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Sheepdog
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Post by Sheepdog »

DRiP Guy wrote:1997: I bought the brand new just released Porsche Boxster.

No new Porsches this year; went with a Dodge.
Glad someone is buying. My son is an engineer with a manufacturer of auto parts for new car manufacturers. His factory is working with 60% laid off. He needs the job. Buy cars made in the USA. Thanks for doing your part
Jim
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
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woof755
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Post by woof755 »

Heh...on this forum lately, it's probably safer to go ahead and assume the sarcasm angle!

When my brother wasn't quite on his feet yet, he used to regretfully refer to my parents as Bank of T and JJ. Nice of you, too, to be so helpful, when you can.
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
Tramper Al
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Post by Tramper Al »

Sheepdog wrote:
DRiP Guy wrote:1997: I bought the brand new just released Porsche Boxster.

No new Porsches this year; went with a Dodge.
Buy cars made in the USA.
To be perfectly honest, I'd rather have a 12-year old Boxster than a brand new Dodge. Am I alone in this?
Ron
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Post by Ron »

Tramper Al wrote:
Sheepdog wrote:
DRiP Guy wrote:1997: I bought the brand new just released Porsche Boxster.

No new Porsches this year; went with a Dodge.
Buy cars made in the USA.
To be perfectly honest, I'd rather have a 12-year old Boxster than a brand new Dodge. Am I alone in this?
Yes :lol:

Disclaimer: I own no "foreign branded" vehicles. OK - I'm old. But that's what I believe in...

- Ron
CaptMidnight
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Post by CaptMidnight »

In 1997, I was 100% in an S&P 500 index fund. It was good to me.
The history of thought and culture is ... a changing pattern of great liberating ideas that inevitably turn in suffocating straightjackets... | --Isaiah Berlin
chaz
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Post by chaz »

Bharat wrote:
chaz wrote:
Gekko wrote:let's hope we don't get back to 1969 levels.

S&P 500 Close
2/1/1969 98.13

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/ch ... 0&D6=&D3=0
I agree, but we are getting closer daily (except weekends).
should we demand longer weekends?
We got some Monday holidays thanks to legislation.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
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ryuns
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Post by ryuns »

MP173 wrote:Thanks for the replies.
...
ed
This is great and may inspire me to get back in to that.

My journal entries are borne of pain and are usually 4 page diatribes with grandiose language, complaining about my ex girlfriend. I find handwriting at once cathartic and frustrating. My mind always travels too quickly and putting thoughts to paper is a great way to focus, but it does take time. I may decide to do them digitally, but I can't think of a way that will stand the passage of time and be accessible to others. I suppose I could periodically print them...

Suggestions?

Ryan
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton
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Ducks
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Post by Ducks »

Ryuns - Livejournal. With periodic backups.
Getting our Ducks in a row since 2008.
ZZ
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Post by ZZ »

One of the most memorable things I have ever seen is a diary. My best life long friend from grade school called me years ago and said come to his family reunion (right now!). Seems a relative had his great, great grandfathers diary from the early 1800's.

He was being chased by Indians and hid in a hollow tree stump. He got stuck (being wounded), but kept a journal until he starved to death. The diary was given to the family several years later upon discovering the body and passed to the generations.

ZZ
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ryuns
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Post by ryuns »

That's an amazing story.

Some of the most amazing stories in history have been told through journals.

Ryan
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton
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craigr
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Post by craigr »

Sheepdog wrote:
DRiP Guy wrote:1997: I bought the brand new just released Porsche Boxster.

No new Porsches this year; went with a Dodge.
Glad someone is buying. My son is an engineer with a manufacturer of auto parts for new car manufacturers. His factory is working with 60% laid off. He needs the job. Buy cars made in the USA. Thanks for doing your part
Jim
I bought a Dodge pickup two years ago. I got home and read the VIN off the pillar for the insurance. Guess what?

"Hecho en Mexico."

Many foreign branded vehicles are made in the US now. Subaru. Toyota. Honda. BMW. Etc. Many US branded vehicles are made elsewhere.

If this is important to you (I don't care too much personally as long as the vehicle is reliable), then you should check the actual manufacturer's label and don't make any assumptions.
IMPORTANT NOTE: My old website crawlingroad{dot}com is no longer available or run by me.
Ron
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Post by Ron »

craigr wrote:
Sheepdog wrote:
DRiP Guy wrote:1997: I bought the brand new just released Porsche Boxster.

No new Porsches this year; went with a Dodge.
Glad someone is buying. My son is an engineer with a manufacturer of auto parts for new car manufacturers. His factory is working with 60% laid off. He needs the job. Buy cars made in the USA. Thanks for doing your part
Jim
I bought a Dodge pickup two years ago. I got home and read the VIN off the pillar for the insurance. Guess what?

"Hecho in Mexico."

Many foreign branded vehicles are made in the US now. Subaru. Toyota. Honda. BMW. Etc. Many US branded vehicles are made elsewhere.

If this is important to you (I don't care too much personally as long as the vehicle is reliable), then you should check the actual manufacturer's label and don't make any assumptions.
My Mustang GT was assembled in Mexico. However, since I'm the original owner, the profit on the original sale went to an American company (Ford).

Foreign cars made in this country do support the workers where they are assembled, but remember the profit goes to a foreign country. Of course, that's the story for new cars only. Once it's used, it dosen't matter.

- Ron
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DRiP Guy
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Post by DRiP Guy »

My Dodge was made in Brampton Ontario, North America.

I generally believe in buying by solving for the formula "quality and price= value", no matter where made, but I am glad that I was able to buy a very good quality auto that was designed, supplied, and built largely in North America, if not US specifically.
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craigr
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Post by craigr »

Ron wrote:Foreign cars made in this country do support the workers where they are assembled, but remember the profit goes to a foreign country.
They are paid in dollars. Dollars can only be spent in the US or sold to someone else who has to spend them in the US. The profits will always come back into the country to buy US goods, services, etc.

We should be happy foreign countries want to exchange our dollars for their products. Many places of the world have virtually no trade at all because nobody wants their money. We are fortunate that we have enough to sell other people that they feel it's still a good deal to trade with us.
IMPORTANT NOTE: My old website crawlingroad{dot}com is no longer available or run by me.
freedomfunds
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Post by freedomfunds »

1997, TGIF Friday actually meant something. Come on you know you watched it on ABC
Index choice matters. | | Valuations matter even more.
DaveS
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Post by DaveS »

But soon we will be able to party like it is 1999!

In 1997 I was 100% equities. I stayed that way till I was preparing my taxes in April 2000. I thought to myself "this market is really high" maybe I should take the advice from people on the Diehards list at Morningstar and get 1/3 bonds and 10% REIT and a bit of small value for diversity. Thank you, Thank you. Dave
Ron
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Post by Ron »

craigr wrote:
Ron wrote:Foreign cars made in this country do support the workers where they are assembled, but remember the profit goes to a foreign country.
They are paid in dollars. Dollars can only be spent in the US or sold to someone else who has to spend them in the US. The profits will always come back into the country to buy US goods, services, etc.

We should be happy foreign countries want to exchange our dollars for their products. Many places of the world have virtually no trade at all because nobody wants their money. We are fortunate that we have enough to sell other people that they feel it's still a good deal to trade with us.
Uh - no. I retired from an automotive assembly (brand witheld) who over a span of almost 30 years that was owned by a US conglomate, and two different Western European firms.

When the company was sold to the Euro firms, all financial statements (including company stock, which was an ADR) were in the currency of the country of origin (that's why they have a market for currency conversion).

As an example, Ford has operations in several Euro countries, including Volvo in Sweden (GM currently owns SAAB - also in Sweden) but sales/profits (or losses) are issued in a consolidated statement from the U.S. the home of Ford (or GM, for SAAB).

Yes, some local sourcing of parts (and of course manufacturing job/folks) are handled in the local currency, but from corporate, they come from the "homeland".

- Ron
Last edited by Ron on Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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baw703916
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Post by baw703916 »

In 1997 I started putting 5% of my salary into the TSP C Fund (there wasn't an S or I at the time). I kept doing that until 2003, then started to contribute to S and I as well, and gradually increased my contribution till I maxed it out. I didn't worry--or even look at my account balance--in the 2000-2002 time frame.

In 1969, I was six years old. I do remember watching the moon landing though.

Brad
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Post by market timer »

baw703916 wrote:In 1969, I was six years old. I do remember watching the moon landing though.
I remember the Challenger.
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craigr
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Post by craigr »

Ron wrote:Uh - no. I retired from an automotive assembly (brand witheld) who over a span of almost 30 years that was owned by a US conglomate, and two different Western European firms.
I think we're talking different issues. The purchase of cars in America is done in American dollars. The dollars used in foreign trade will come back to the US because ultimately we're the only place they can be spent. I can't spend dollars in Japan, they want Yen. If a Japanese automaker wants value from their dollars from an American auto sale they have two choices:

1) Spend the dollars themselves on US goods and services they need.
2) Sell them to someone else in exchange for Yen they can spend locally. The person they sold them to will then spend them on US goods and services they need, sell them, save them, etc.

Those dollars going to Japan will come back to the US eventually. It may be in the purchase of wheat, corn, beef, raw materials, real estate, trips to Hawaii, etc. But they will come back and be spent here. That's the only place they ultimately have any value.
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